A FABULOUS weekend of flat racing for us to sink our teeth into and the weather has arrived to go with it. Pour yourself a wee Pimm’s, get the bets on and sit back and enjoy.
Silvestre De Sousa rides the Clive Cox-trained PRICELESS in this Group 3 race. He really looked the part to me winning last time out at Bath in his first run of the season. He won that easily and looks a potential improver this season. SDS gets the ride which the market sees as a bad sign because stable jockey Adam Kirby has chosen to ride Profitable instead. I see that as a good sign for us because (a) they can’t be sure how much Priceless has improved compared to Profitable, (b) SDS is bloody good, arguably a bit better than Kirby and (c) crucially it gives us a nice each way price about Priceless. It’s a competitive race so we should go each way I think.
The 2000 Guineas, first Classic of the year and given a bit of extra spice this year with the fact that the first crop of Frankel colts are now 3 years old and therefore can take their chance. Again I’m looking for the one that has been undervalued and therefore overpriced and again I end up with Sylvester De Sousa’s mount. This time he rides DREAM CASTLE who is owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed Bin Suroor. The reason he is overpriced is because he could only finish 2nd last time out in the Greenham Stakes to Barney Roy (who lines up again here) but Dream Castle ran freely that day and didn’t settle well into the race. The form from the race is strong and he has been equipped with a hood today which is designed to calm the horses down and help them concentrate on their racing. Assuming that has the intended effect, combined with SDS in the plate, I think this Frankel colt could go very close indeed at a big price.
The Sylvester De Sousa love-in continues on Sunday and I fully expect BIG COUNTRY to bolt up in the first race at Newmarket. He looks a potential Group horse and should follow up his win at Kempton last month here as he continues to progress for Mick Appleby.
A competitive handicap where you will get nice each way terms. The one I like is INTISAAB who I followed last season to good effect, particularly in the Coral Sprint Trophy at York in October. Shelley Birkett usually gets the ride on him and she is a perfectly capable young jockey. The thing about Intisaab is that I think he could move out of handicaps and go on to be a class 1 performer. I think he can take this race on the way to doing that. I didn’t back him first time out this season at Ripon, thinking he might need the run but he won nicely. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he is a nice price for this on Sunday.
There is other cracking racing over the course of the weekend of course. If you like to back a favourite at short prices (the road to ruin for a gambler in the long run!) the ones that I think should be competitive and justify their short odds are, in no particular order, Ballet Concerto (1.50 Saturday), Seventh Heaven (2.55 Saturday), Son Of The Stars (5.20) and Rhododendron (1000 Guineas – 3.35 Sunday). I am not going to recommend these as tips but if you like a Yankee or a Lucky 15 with a few favs then these might be for you.
Recommendations (all Newmarket):
- 2.20 Saturday – Priceless – 2 pt each way at 8-1 (Paddy Power paying 4 places)
- 3.35 Saturday – Dream Castle – 1 pt each way at 18-1 (Betfair, Paddy Power)
- 1.50 Sunday – Big Country – 4 pt win at 3-1 (William Hill)
- 2.55 Sunday – Intisaab – 2 pt each way at 10-1 (Betfair, Paddy Power)
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- : ITV